As you get further into your pregnancy, a number of questions may arise. Many of these queries can be categorized under things that start happening to your body and have you wondering, “Is this normal?” (More often than not, the answer is yes, and we’ve got tips to help you cope.) Here are a few common issues in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, and how to deal with them.

Swollen Feet and Ankles

Due to fluid retention, this is common and can be quite uncomfortable. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the swellingElevate your feet whenever you can, wear supportive shoes and avoid bare feet, flip flops or high heels. Also, avoid sitting for long periods of time. If the swelling doesn’t ever abate, becomes painful or appears in one leg only, consult your healthcare provider immediately as this can be a sign of preeclampsia or a blood clot.

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Leg Cramps During Pregnancy

The cause of leg cramps are unknown but they are thought to be caused by the increased pressure of your growing uterus, possibly a deficiency in some nutrients and typically occur during your second trimester. To reduce the effect, try to include more calcium-, magnesium- and potassium-rich foods in your diet.

Drink plenty of water, as dehydration could also be the cause. Avoid crossing your legs for extended periods of time, and exercise daily (if your doctor approves). Wiggle your toes and rotate your ankles when sitting for long periods of time, such as during a lengthy car ride. Avoid lying on your back, as this tends to decrease circulation in your legs and cause more cramps.

For immediate relief, stretch the leg gently by straightening it, then flex your foot and pull your toes toward Massage the cramp or apply heat.

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Bleeding Gums During Pregnancy

Swelling or bleeding gums may occur due to increased circulation and pregnancy hormones. This issue will typically go away once your baby has arrived. Brush and floss regularly and visit your dentist early in your pregnancy to maintain good oral health.

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Heartburn During Pregnancy

Nope, this isn’t just a first trimester thing. Heartburn can seem non-stop when you are expecting. As your uterus grows, it crowds your stomach, pushing stomach acids upwards. Your digestive system is also working slower than usual due to changing hormone levels.

To manage heartburn, avoid any fried, spicy or super-rich foods, chocolate, mint, tomatoes and tomato sauce, citrus fruit, onion and carbonated drinks. Eat small, frequent meals throughout the day (this will also help with nausea)Don’t eat too close to bedtime or before lying down. When resting, prop up your head and shoulders using extra pillows to prevent stomach acids from rising.

Finally, ask your doctor or pharmacist which heartburn medications are safe during pregnancy-there are many safe options.

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Always stay in touch with your doctor. When needed consult your issues with the doctor.

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